But what does it mean?

Right, the disclaimer. There’s nothing in this statement that suggests what level of punishment the IRA had in mind for these guys. Two, they have noted the fervent wish of the family to see justice done properly through the courts. The IRA is staying its hand. The message is subtle, but potentially important.

The problem is that it may be too subtle for the wider audience that’s currently attempting to understand the shocking import of the initial headlines. Broom of Anger blog picks up the mixed message straightaway.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty